On an individually directed retreat, the retreatant meets with their spiritual director once a day. The rest of the time is spent relaxing, reading, thinking, and praying. Each retreat focuses on the way God is active in the individual’s life, and each retreat follows a uniquely personal path. The retreat director is prepared with a wealth of suggestions from Scripture, poetry, music and other spiritual resources.
Retreats and spiritual direction have the transformative power to reshape lives and provide the freedom to respond to God’s invitation to come closer. You will have this week of quiet and peace for personal reflection at our Center and around our beautiful grounds. Mass will also be offered each day throughout your stay.
This is a silent retreat. Check-in begins at 4pm, the retreat will begin with an orientation session at 5pm. The retreat will end before lunch on Saturday.
Spiritual Directors for this retreat will be Joy Aker, Sr. Bernie Claps, Fr. Phil Cover, Sr. Jo-Ann Flora, and Sr. Carole Rybicki. If you have a preference, please indicate it within the ‘special needs’ section of the registration form.
Joy Aker, MA, is a spiritual director and Labyrinth facilitator as well as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Her focus in on helping people to develop a holistic spirituality which looks to wholeness in body, mind and spirit. She also has a great interest in assisting others as they deepen their own relationship with God. Joy has a Master’s Degree in Spirituality and Parish Nursing from Sr. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore.
Sister Bernadette Claps, a Sister of Bon Secours, provides spiritual direction and spiritual companionship at the Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center. She holds graduate certificates in Spiritual Direction, Spirituality and Aging. She has done graduate studies in theology and received a Master of Social Work from New York University.
Fr. Phillip Cover is an experienced retreat leader, spiritual director, pilgrimage leader and author. He previously served as the Assistant Executive Director in the Department of Religious Education for the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) in Washington, DC. He also served as an adjunct staff member for the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. He is co-author of Journey with Purpose, Through Exile into the Heart of God and The Inner Work of Lent.
Sister Jo-Ann Flora, a native Philadelphian, is a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur and resides in the Washington DC area, where she serves as a spiritual director, meeting individuals in person and on Zoom, and is a retreat director. Originally trained by the New York Jesuits as a director of the Spiritual Exercises, she has engaged in this ministry for forty-three years in many spirituality centers, parishes, and schools. She is also a certified Music Imagery (MI) facilitator and Reiki Master. She has been active with Notre Dame de Namur Associates for thirty years. She holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University and a doctoral degree from the University of California.
Sr. Carole Rybicki, MA, is a Baltimore Franciscan. She is a board certified chaplain, serving in hospital ministry for over 25 years. She worked with those in need through a number of inner-city programs for Catholic Charities and parish ministry, as well as a teacher in pre-school through high school. She received her Certificate in Spiritual Direction through Loyola University of Maryland. Her foundation for spiritual guidance is “seeing and finding God in all things.”